To the political scientist concerned with the relationship between social and economic modernisation, on the one hand, and political change and integration, on the other, the Ibo experience has long held particular interest. In his pioneering study of Nigerian nationalism, James Coleman observed that Ibos had played a singular role in the post-war political era: ‘Ibos overwhelmingly predominated in both the leadership and the mass membership of the N.C.N.C., the Zikist Movement, and the National Church. Postwar radical and militant nationalism, which emphasized the national unity of Nigeria as a transcendent imperative, was largely, but not exclusively, an Ibo endeavor’1 But radical and militant pan-Nigerian nationalism was only one part of the Ibo political posture. No less noteworthy was the parallel development of a highly cohesive and organisationally sophisticated pan-Ibo movement, the very success of which ultimately undermined the pan- Nigerian aspirations of the Ibo-led N.C.N.C. and, subsequently, was one of several factors operating to impair the national legitimacy of an Ibo-led military régime. It is this paradoxical blending of ‘civic’ and ‘primordial’ sentiments which, perhaps, best defines the modern Ibo political experience2.